Gate and Garden

In ContactZone

By Lachlan Davidson


Picture yourself standing at the old Gate of the East and West. It is always an accomplishment just to walk through this gate, as many generations have done in centuries past. Walking westward through the gate leads to the Garden of Endless Space where the masses come to sunbathe in the summer completely naked. Walk straight through the Garden of Endless Space and there is a tall monument in the middle of a rotary, with the masses making their way around its honorable presence. No matter what season, this garden is truly magical with its many trees and flowers and is a perfect place for runners to go on training runs in. 

A view of a city street

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Heading eastward through the Gate of the East and West takes you to a road as wide as Park Avenue in New York. It too has trees and green grass between the roads. Just like Times Square in New York, that road will cross with another fancy road, this time with a fancy symbol, Friedrichstraße, which in English is translated to “Frederick Street”. 

Walk down the fancy road with the fancy symbol. After a few blocks, you should be at the old wall. While it has been abandoned for 30 years now, it still has plenty of harrowing memories since its building in 1961. 

Keep walking down the fancy street, unless you’re tired already, in which case you head down the staircase and wait for a maximum of five minutes. Soon an electronic voice will sound: “zurückbleiben bitte!” Wait for about 10 minutes and you’ll find yourself at the athletic complex with the track that I used to run on every Saturday. Glimpse at its red ground below, and now look further ahead, above the trees, at a big, sharp needle pointing up towards the sky, perhaps the tallest thing you will see in the area.

A person on a court with a racquet

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Now get on your ride to the Open Grassland of History. Big, vast metal birds used to gather in this area; now only real birds and humans do. Walk through this massive openness and imagine the past, such as the Great Airlift of 1948, the Cold War, maybe the Weimar Era, when the field opened, or even as recent as 2008, when the field was closed and eventually transformed into a giant park for all to walk around in.

Now that you’ve walked through the whole grassland, head down the stairs through a hallway covered in yellow tiles and then you can wait for another five minutes minimum. After the electronic voice sounds again–“züruckbleiben bitte!”–wait another 15 minutes or so and then you’re home at last.

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